Mets Wrap: When Will They Appreciate Daniel Murphy?

When it comes to Daniel Murphy, the New York Mets always seem to think they might have a faster gun. Murphy, a natural third baseman, couldn’t find a home in left field or first base, but the past two seasons appears to have settled in at second base.

However, just as he seems to be taking to the position, the Mets haven’t been able to resist other options. Justin Turner has been there to give him a rest; Eric Young played when Murphy briefly replaced Ike Davis at first; Jordany Valdespin got a week audition after his tantrum; and Wilmer Flores got a chance as part of the Mets’ youth movement.

MURPHY: Huge game vs. Phillies. (AP)

MURPHY: Huge game vs. Phillies. (AP

“I’d like to think of myself as a young guy, too,’’ said the 28-year-old Murphy after today’s four-hit, two-RBI outburst in an 11-3 rout of the Phillies.

Manager Terry Collins said Murphy has been tired, hitting just .233 in August, with two extra-base hits – both homers – in his previous 31 games before two doubles today. Collins said yesterday’s start with Flores was to give Murphy a rest and not meant as his job was in jeopardy.

But, that’s not the thinking of others. In talking about finding a spot for Andrew Brown, Mets analyst Bob Ojeda suggested left field and moving Young to second. In where Flores might play, regardless of what Collins said, second is the spot first mentioned.

However, in analyzing the Mets’ holes needing to be filled for 2014, there are other positions ahead of ahead of Murphy at second that are more pressing. They’ll need another starter or two if Harvey can’t pitch, and the bullpen is always an issue, especially if Bobby Parnell isn’t ready.

The Mets also have questions at shortstop and the outfield.

As for Murphy, he was named in trade rumors at the end of July, and he’s still on the table as the waiver deadline nears.

But, in the end the Mets could do far worse than playing Murphy at second base.

WRIGHT REHAB: David Wright said he wanted to play again this season before leaving to Port St. Lucie to continue his rehab. Wright also spoke to the Phillies’ Michael Young about how he rehabbed his hamstring injury. Young stressed that regardless of his rehab, it’s different and tenuous when he gets into games.

“I don’t want the next time I’m on the field to be in spring training with the uncertainty,’’ Wright said. “This is what I do. I want to play. It’s against pretty much everything I believe in to shut the season down and get ready for next season. I want to get back and join my teammates and help them finish strong.’’

METS MUSINGS: GM Sandy Alderson said surgery hasn’t been determined on Matt Harvey‘s tear in his UCL. Harvey consulted with the Phillies’ Roy Halladay, who had a similar injury that didn’t require surgery. Harvey will get a second opinion after the swelling goes down. … Carlos Torres was terrific giving up one run on four hits in 6.2 innings with six strikeouts and no walks. … Reliever Vic Black was the player-to-be-named-later in the deal with Pittsburgh. … Young had three hits including a three-run triple. … Catcher Anthony Recker hit a two-run homer on his 30th birthday. … Matt den Dekker was hitless in five at-bats with two strikeouts in his major league debut.

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12 thoughts on “Mets Wrap: When Will They Appreciate Daniel Murphy?

  1. Murphy has not been underappreciated by the team. They’ve hyped him up quite a bit in recent years and have given him a lot of playing time. He’s constantly talked about as some great hitter…and they’ve gone out of their way to find positions for him to play….yet he’s mostly just a league average bat. I don’t think any of those things that the team did (giving him the day off occasionally or moving him to 1b for a week) is indicative of the team underappreciating him. If anything they’ve overhyped the guy. He’s a nice player, and yes there are much bigger problems with the team, so keeping Murph as the 2b isn’t a “problem”, but he’s not this great hitter they talk about him as.

    Ojeda’s “move Young to 2b”…if he’s talking about that as something to regularly do… is moronic, but that’s not really a reflection of the team…it’s just Bobby O’s opinion. Bobby Ojeda says a lot of dumb things.

    If we want to talk more about underappreciated Mets…we should talk about Lucas Duda.

    • Murphy has been greatly under appreciated by the NY media yet holds most of the teams offensive statistics. He has 150 base hits to date (6th in NL), 61 RBI’s, 28 doubles, 18 steals, 2nd in NL at bats and I could go on. His statistics are far above an average baseball player. Similarly, with all due respect batting .277 is super regardless of the defensive position. As a 2nd basemen he has 10 HR’s so check all of NL’s 2b and you will find he is close to the very top. What on earth does he have to do to get RESPECT? Defensively, his range is above average and yes, he is 2nd in errors but, he is close to the very top in games / innings played. His fielding percentage is virtually the same as Captain America yet he doesn’t get his defense criticized. The Captain gets due praise from NY critics as compared to Daniel being unfairly berated. I hope Murphy goes to a NL team that appreciates his talents. If the Mets team performed up to his standards at every position then all would get a 2 week rest at the end of the season due to leading their division. Duda should get a chance to play 25 straight games at 1B which I believe he would do well. They need his power especially with Wright on DL, and two of our best HR hitters going to the Pirates. I never have understood why so many good ball players can’t wait to exit NY. Enough is never enough – Yaaaaaa Think?

      • Fielding percentage is not a good measure of defense. And if you are going to use it…you can’t really compare 2b to 3b. The average fielding percentage at 2b is .984…the average fielding percentage of MLB 3b is .958…so Murph having a similar fielding percentage to Wright doesn’t really speak well of Murph’s D. But anyway via some of the other better metrics Murph has been a reasonably decent defensive 2b, so not bad…good enough

        Hitting wise he has an OPS+ right around 100. That’s average. His OBP isn’t very far above .300…so not particularly good. The counting stats you post are nice, but not the best measures and none of those numbers are that fantastic. He’s near the top of the league in hits ..but just like playing a lot of games is part of the reason you said he ranks high in errors, it’s also part of the reason he’s near the top of the league in hits. He ranks 6th in the NL, but he also ranks 2nd in the league in outs made. His offense really hasn’t been that great. It’s average and “good enough” for a 2b for now, especially on a team with bigger issues..so he’s not a “problem”…but he hasn’t really been THAT good.. He was better a couple years ago….had had too many slumps this year which have dragged down his season numbers. Maybe he has another hot streak in him to get those numbers back up

        • applesauce: True about fielding percentage. You could have a great percentage, but no ranges. No, the stats mentioned aren’t the most definitive. What you say about Murphy, that he’s “good enough,” is why he’s still around. There are more pressing concerns, but Murphy isn’t glaring.-JD

      • OBP: I think part of the problem, and I’ve made it to, is expecting too much from Murphy. His stats are solid, not star-written. … Yes, the Mets need Duda’s power, but he hasn’t given it to him. They gave him a starting job as an outfielder, but he didn’t produce there.-JD

  2. Murphy isn’t unappreciated, he’s showing what he is, a streaky hitter whose streaks are lasting
    shorter and shorter periods. He’s cost us a few games in the field, he doesn’t have that baseball instinct. I agree we have bigger problems but I wouldn’t mind seeing Flores at second if Flores can hit consistently.
    den Dekker is unappreciated…they spelled his name wrong on his uniform!

  3. I agree Dan is not appreciated here. I have been saying this for 2 years now. He does a good job at second. Are there better fielders? Sure. But he has a good bat and he works hard. He knows how to turn the double play and has good range. He hits about 30 doubles a year and is one of our most consistent hitters. Next to David he is our best hitter. It’s not even close. We are always trying to replace him yet we string out Ike when he absolutely sucks in the field and at the plate. 2 years in a row a janitor could have given us more at hat position for 1/2 year. But no one on the team is sitting Ike because when he came up he was great and then last year he hit 30 hr.

    I like Flores but he seems defensively challenged. Can he work hard enough to improve his defense at some position so his bat is used? Turner is a good player. Just not a starter. I think he can play every position but catcher in the infield.

    Young is good. He gives us speed and energy, but Dan is a so much better hitter.

    I have said before, if we move Dan I am ok with that, but we should do it to improve the team not just to replace him. I think of the players we have he is our best 2b.

  4. I thought Daniel Murphy was having a pretty good season, until I realized that he almost never walks – 24 times in 565 plate appearances. Of all the Mets with at least 100 at bats this year, Murphy’s on-base-percentage of .309 ranks 11th – behind the likes of Lucas Duda (.359), Ike Davis (.326) and even Omar Quintanilla (.310). Not good for the guy batting second in the lineup.

  5. Actually, I do not think Murphy has been talked about being a great hitter at all the last few years. What used to be the case was how much Murph was talked about being “gritty” or hard playing. This eventually grew normal to us and other players grew to draw our attention. It is not necessarily Murphy who we underappreciate. But it is a large portion of Mets fans who do not understand that without him, we would have had a big gap to fill. Sure, his stats are glamarous, but they are servicable and his defense has grown to be that too. Mets fans of anyone should know not to take a healthy, productive player for granted. Many of us do not take him for granted, yet some still want to see him get traded. But many understand that his trade value is not that great. Not for what we can get back for him. Murph has more value to this team than Davis because he produces, even if his supposed potential isn’t as great. Not saying Ike needs to go (since this isn’t the place for that argument), but Murph wins over him, especially likely to get paid less and offer Wilmer the chance to play 1B or 2B.

    • Tom: Great comment. You nailed the essence of Murphy. He’s not a star, but with a roster full of questions, his are lower on the pecking order. I don’t remember calling Murphy a great hitter as much as I did consistent.-JD